Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Art of War

I pass these swings every day and it always gives me an extra skip in my step. It's a little shot of joy, kind of like a mini nature version of Ellen or the first season of Glee. What's not to love about a swing set  next to the ocean. Good thing it's like this outside because inside it is all about this:

Meet ROD. That stands for Racket. Of. Death. as Adam so aptly named it. New Zealand fun fact #724 - there are no screens in this country. This wouldn't be that big of a deal except that there isn't really air conditioning either.  This means that when it is hot outside, like today, or for an entire season, we will call it summer, that it is nice to have the doors open to get a cool breeze. Along with fresh breezes come the not so fresh flies. We are so accustomed to screens in the States that it is hard to imagine but they just don't exist here. Everyone keeps their doors open and flies are a part of the deal. I am willing to accept the muffins and 4 weeks, plus 11 National Holidays, vacation time part of the culture, but I am having a hard time getting use to the flies.

This is why we got ROD. At first we tried this Raid thing that basically looks like an air freshener, but shoots mists of chemicals strong enough to kill insects but not humans or pets into the air? Hmmm. After getting severe headaches and probably killing any chance at procreation, we got rid of it. ROD is probably not going to be featured in any PETA commercials anytime soon, as it is basically a dwarf sized tennis racket that electrocutes flies upon contact. It sounds really bad and  I guess it is for the flies but the only buzz I want to catch is from some of the delicious NZ wine.

Alright enough about flies though, let's move on the next topic. There is no real seague into this one. I saw boobs on the news. They were highlighting a crazy festival called Sevens that I think is Mardi Gras meets a Rugby tournament. This was the regular nightly news and they were covering the festivities. I can only imagine the letters to the editor in the Knoxville News Sentinel if they allowed topless women to be showed  on the news.

Other highlights from the week include a self imposed "make a fabulous dinner with only ingredients you have on hand" kitchen challenge and a trip to the Auckland Art Gallery. The gallery is a really stunning space and definitely worth seeing. I went to see a free lunchtime dance performance but stayed for the wonderful art and cafe.

Speaking of the arts, I have signed up for an improv class. It's something I have wanted to do for years and think will be really fun. I can't think of a better place to make a fool of myself then in a new country where I know no one and will probably be the only person wearing shoes. I have no desire to actually do anything with it but will be a good creative outlet for me. It's like people going to law school with no desire to practice, but I won't be in improv debt.

As far as actual job, I am still networking and just met with a woman from Boston, who is also in the mental health field. I keep hearing how, regardless of the profession, Kiwis are about ten years behind. She told me about going to a meeting of the professional counseling board here and described to me what might as well have been a casting call for the 1993 hit movie Hocus Pocus. Thankfully, she steered me down a different path that will hopefully be a better fit for me professionally.

So until I find that one, I will continue planning trips that will be a perfect fit. Next up, a trip to Napier for the Art Deco Festival followed by my maiden voyage to the South Island in March. We are so excited about our Milford Track adventure which is a 5 day, 4 night, hiking trip through Fiordland National Park.

Here is little peak of what's to come:


  1. Ha ha, love the ROD! We have the flies, too, but I found a sprayer that supposedly uses only natural ingredients. Hasn't affected us yet...

    I think it's great that you signed up for an improv class! I'm looking at doing a photography one here in the near future :-)

    1. i think you take beautiful pictures from what i've seen - great idea!

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  3. you HAVE to do the robot on your first day of class!